As regular readers of New Escapologist will know, we see Citizen’s Income (also known as Unconditional Basic Income) as a possible and permanent “Escape for All”.
We discussed it briefly in Issue 4 (in an article by Sam Nairn of the London School of Economics) and occasionally online, but we’ll discuss it more credibly in Issue 9, the overarching theme of which will be monetary and called “Take the Money and Run”.
By giving a state-funded minimum income to every man and woman — regardless of age, physical ability, education, or wealth — we’ll be able to abolish poverty and make work far less an essential thing in one fell swoop. People will still want to work in order to pay for luxuries, but that will be a choice. Frugal Escapologists will be able to discount work altogether under this system; people who’d like to work part-time will be better able to do so; risk-averse people who’d like to start their own business or become artists will finally have a safety-net; and nobody will have to go hungry any more.
CI would be funded by consumption taxes on luxury goods; green taxes on corporations who use or pollute natural resources; and (best of all) by the savings incurred by dismantling the expensive bureaucratic systems that maintain and police the current welfare and pensions system.
It’s not crazy. The idea has notable supporters from the political left and right alike. Pilots have been conducted in Germany and Canada.